How much your insurance goes up if you hit a parked car depends on the exact circumstances of the collision, including:
- How much damage was done
- Whether the owner of the parked car was partially or totally at fault
- Your overall driving history
- Whether the owner of the parked car files a claim with your insurance company
If you have any questions about your current insurance rates or the reason behind a recent increase, you can always contact your insurance company.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 747-3733
Many Factors Determine Your Insurance Rates
If you are involved in an accident, your insurance rates may or may not go up. If they go up, the increase will depend on the following factors:
The Accident’s Severity
In an accident with a parked car, the damage done is likely to be all or mostly property damage. There are exceptions—for example, if the parked car was still occupied, or you were injured in the collision.
Assuming that this was a property-damage-only accident, the amount of damage caused could influence how much your insurance goes up. Consider the following:
- If the accident was a low-speed “fender bender,” and the damage is minimal, your rate increase may reflect this.
- If you hit the parked car at a moderate speed and did significant damage to the car’s rear end, your rate increase could be substantial.
- If you hit the parked car hard enough to push it into traffic, thus endangering other drivers, your rate increase could be quite high.
An insurance adjuster is responsible for reviewing the circumstances of the accident and determining what rate increase is justified.
The Other Car Owner’s Liability
In most cases, the driver who hit the parked car is the one at fault, and they will have to bear the brunt of increased insurance premiums.
There are, however, cases where such an accident is not entirely the driver’s fault. For example, if the car was parked where it should not have been, this mitigating factor could reduce the amount by which your premiums rise.
In fact, if you were injured after hitting an illegally parked car, you could seek compensation from the car owner’s insurer for things like:
- Pain and suffering
- The cost of repairing your car
- The cost of medical treatment
- Lost wages and other sources of income
Your Driving History
Insurance companies look at a driver’s overall history to determine how likely they are to cause an accident and, therefore, how much the company should charge for an insurance policy.
If hitting the parked car was your first accident, and you have otherwise shown yourself to be a cautious driver, your rates will not rise as much as if you have a long history of dangerous behaviors such as:
- Hitting parked cars
- Driving under the influence
- Road rage or aggressive driving
- Ignoring stop signs and other traffic signals
The Car Owner’s Actions
Florida is a no-fault insurance state, meaning after a collision, drivers file claims with their own insurers to recover damages. So, if the other driver doesn’t contact your insurance company about the accident, your rates may not increase.
The same situation may apply if the property damage was minimal. In that case, the other driver might not bother with an insurance claim, and your rates may stay the same.
The more damage you caused, the more likely it is that the parked car’s owner will file a claim, and the more likely it is that your insurance premiums will rise.
What to Do If You Hit a Parked Car
If you hit a parked or unattended car, Florida Statutes § 316.063 mandates that you:
- Stop as close to the scene of the accident as you can.
- Attempt to move the damaged car out of the line of traffic, if possible
- Try to locate the car’s owner.
- Leave your contact information on or in the damaged car, if the driver cannot be found.
- Report the crash to the appropriate authorities as soon as possible.
There were over 109,000 hit-and-run accidents in Florida in 2021, according to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). Fleeing the accident scene is against the law. Per FLHSMV, a hit-and-run is at least a second-degree misdemeanor, which could result in your being sentenced to pay $500 in fines and/or spend 60 days behind bars.
In other words, leaving the scene without completing the steps outlined above could get you into more trouble—and raise your rates even higher—than if you had stayed.
Contact our lawyers today!
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The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you after an accident. Our car accident lawyers can tell you how much your insurance is likely to go up if you have hit a parked car, explain your legal options after an accident, and more. Your initial case evaluation is always free of charge.